In today’s digital age, it is not only necessary to have a clean business reputation offline, but also have a strong reputation online. As a brand, you are aware that people like to search information about your business and the person behind it, in order to know who is the face behind the business. Even though you can control your impression on the digital platform to a certain extent, online reputation management will help you manage your digital profile more proactively.
It is imperative that your brand has a strong presence online. With the growth of consumer-focused content online, anyone can post anything on their social media networks. People often trust the opinions shared by others. So, any negative comment or review about your brand can easily disrupt your business as well as your personal reputation. But that’s not all. Apart from consumers, there are others like former employees, unhappy clients or even your competition who can attack your brand by posting negative or false information on social media networks for others to read, share and comment on.
One of the prominent examples of negative publicity is PayPal that facilitates money transfers. When you search for PayPal on any Google, the paypalsucks.com link shows up prominently in the search results. There are review websites like Yelp.com that list down the negative reviews of the businesses given by angry employees or competition, which impacts the brand image of the business in a big way. Moreover, this negative publicity on other websites is irrelevant to search engines. The primary aim of the search engines is to rank the results based on the incoming links and websites.
So, what shall you do to defend those negative comments or reviews that appear high on the search results? The best way is to provide content that is authentic. Publish credible content on their websites which can help in outranking those negative results and pull your rank up in the search results.
The five online reputation management practices that you can incorporate to boost your credibility online and help your brand’s ranking in the search results are as follows:
Update your website regularly
Your company website is the first thing that people check. The first impression is the last impression, so why not leave a strong one. Once you have sorted the basics – the landing page, contact information and the products/services offering, then you can add other pages later on.
A bio or a team page will be a good addition to your website. People would like to work with a brand that is confident enough to show off its team. Writing strong employee bios is a great way of introducing your people, who are building your brand, at the same time improvising your brand. A strong bio includes your employees’ name, designation/profession, expertise and past experiences. Don’t miss out on adding major career highlights, awards or notable accomplishments of your employees.
By updating your website and adding the team page, you are giving out an extended picture of your company that makes it look legit in the eyes of your consumers.
Have a company blog in place
Having a blog on your business website will not only increase your visibility in the search engine results but also help in driving traffic to your website. Building blogs is a good way to build relationships with your consumers. Having a company blog in place can help in improving your ranking in the search results. But interestingly, it also benefits the company employees as well. For instance, if your marketing head is regularly providing latest insights on the industry trends, this provides authority and exposure of your brand online.
You can also create separate blogs, which include your brand name and sub-domains. This will automatically give you the authority on your content. If you are selling goods externally, for example, then by mentioning your business name will help those pages to be displayed in the search results as well.
Manage online reviews
Managing your reputation of your digital profile in today’s competitive environment has become mandatory. A brand with an online presence needs to understand that a majority of the consumers trust the online reviews. Online reviews carry similar weightage, that of personal recommendations. Therefore, it is imperative if you can share some of your customer experiences on your website. This is a great way to create a positive brand image in the online arena. Moreover, a larger number of positive reviews can balance out any negative reviews that may come up in the future.
Pushing down the negative reviews on the search engine result pages or social media networks is not the only solution to manage online reviews. You need to deal with those negative feedback by proactively responding to them. You need to deal with your customers with respect when you are responding to their comments. This reflects immediately in the online feedback.
In addition to managing the reviews, you can also advertise that you would like to hear from your customers. You can consider adding a call to action in your email signature or website.
Socialize relevant company content
Popular social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook,Twitter and YouTube can help in improving your rank in the search results and they are great platforms to share business content and news. If you are doing something that is worthy of making the headlines, then ensure that you involve your customers as well. Sharing recent press releases, upcoming events or notable company announcements on social media is the best way to show that your company is active in the social media domain. These activities also help your business in leading the search engine results.
Don’t ignore your personal brand
Building your personal brand holds the same relevance as that of your brand. So, if you are developing your personal brand, it will help in visibility and have a positive impact on your brand’s search results. Startup businesses should incorporate this practice because your customers would first search your profile online before they search for your business website. Online reputation is the way your business is perceived by people. So, it is a good practice to build a positive online reputation in the eyes of your investors, clients and employees.